Hi Everyone, and WELCOME to The Writing Fairy website. I'm Dorothea Helms, freelance writer, poet, book author, fiction dabbler, writing instructor, keynote speaker, humorist, wife, mother and slave to my English Bulldog, Margaret. My website is undergoing a facelift, boob lift, liposuction, weight loss program ... wait a minute - those are things I need personally. Sheesh. But my website IS in transition after being neglected for a LONG time. My goal is to inspire writers; my method humour (or humor in the U.S.). Enjoy!

Coaxing closet writers to emerge and make their magic known!

The following appeared in the July/August issue of WCDR’s Word Weaver

The Writing Fairy® Eat My Dust Column

by Dorothea Helms

I’ve started reading Life of Pi three times over the past year. Each time, I didn’t get past page 50. I did the same with Eat, Pray, Love. These are books that have earned acclaim in the literary world and came highly recommended to me, and yet neither compelled me to keep reading.

Last week, I picked up Eat, Pray, Love again. I stretched out on the sofa on our back deck, felt the rays of the sun caress my ankles, and held up the book against the backdrop of lush green trees with rich blue sky peeking out from between the leaves. And I read … and read .. and read … and LOVED it.

How can I start a book, find it boring, and then start it again months later and have the opposite reaction?

A few years ago, I read a magazine interview article featuring Margaret Atwood. She offered one of the best bits of advice for writers that I have ever across. She said that writers shouldn’t worry about the reader. I was stunned. NOT worry about the reader? Aren’t we encouraged by publishers and editors and agents to do just that? To mould our stories and writing to appeal to the appropriate markets?

She pointed out that writers cannot control the preferences, level of education, background, physical condition, mood, etc. of whoever picks up our books at any given time. She suggested being true to your story and your characters and allowing the book to stand on its own.

Reminds me of the advice that best-selling author Nicholas Boothman gave me when I decided to start The Writing Fairy business. I told him I was concerned that people would think my business was for kids, and that some might assign negative connotations to the word “Fairy.” He said, “Dorothea, the people who get it, get it. The others will find another voice that speaks to them.”

I’m glad Elizabeth Gilbert didn’t agonize over me when she wrote her book. And I imagine Yann Martel isn’t losing sleep over the fact that I haven’t read his novel from cover to cover yet.

The sun is shining and I can hear a slight breeze jostling the leaves on the trees in my backyard. My deck is beckoning. Think I’ll pick up Life of Pi and see what happens.



Let The Writing Fairy, Dorothea Helms, introduce you to the world of writing and its many exciting possibilities. If you are a closet writer or someone who dreams of following your passion for words, this is the course for you. Using humour and 21 years of experience as an award-winning professional writer, Dorothea will awaken the magic inside of you in a safe, comfortable environment. Hundreds have already benefited from this course; many have gone on to win writing contests, be published, start freelance businesses, and even develop their craft far enough to teach

6 Weeks – Wednesday, October 8th – November 12th, 1pm to 3pm $180


Ready to take your writing to the next level? The Writing Fairy, Dorothea Helms, is ready to help you soar. Learn to mine ideas from unlikely sources, take risks that will capture the attention of editors/publishers, and polish your writing to the professional level. Forget hand-holding; in this course, The Writing Fairy will provide the kick in the butt that will get your “butt in chair” to live out your writing dreams. Previous participation in a creative writing course is preferred; this is for writers who have advanced beyond the beginner stage. Oh, and it will be a lot of fun!
6 Weeks – Tuesday, September 16th – October 21st, 7pm to 9pm $180

 REGISTER NOW for either and/or both courses at www.blueheronbooks.com

This column appeared in the May/June 2009 issue of Word Weaver.


The Writing Fairy® Eat My Dust Column

by Dorothea Helms

When it comes to freelance writing, a little lateral thinking goes a long way. Open your mind to out-of-the-box ideas, and you can come up with out-of-the-ordinary ways to boost your bottom line.

First, consider your writing. Is it as tight and creative as it could be? I’m a great believer in the concept that the more you write, the better you get – BUT you can stagnate if you never get out there and take a workshop or course. One of the most useful things I’ve done in my career is to attend workshops through the Editors’ Association of Canada.

What’s that? You don’t want to be an editor? Well fine – but what better way to find out how to please editors than to find out what they do? I learned so much about writing by being exposed to what editors look for, that I eventually became an editor. Who knew? Plus, EAC provides great food for lunch.

And how about marketing your work? Everyone thinks of magazines and newspapers – BUT I make most of my living writing other things. Have you ever approached your municipality to ask if the Communications Department farms out writing jobs to freelancers? Some may not have a department to handle things like brochures, newsletters, tourism guides, etc. Others may still opt to contract out some of their writing jobs because their staff is so busy.

Local businesses, ad agencies, public relations firms, businesspeople who need ghostwriters for speeches and columns – have yourself a good brainstorm and see how many avenues you might pursue to expand your business. A few years ago, I even got paid to write humorous fortune cookies for a business group. “If all you bring home is the bacon, you end up fried.” OK, it’s corny, but it’s a living.

No BUTS about it – there’s more to successful freelancing than creative writing. Creative marketing helps a lot. Get out there and pitch a variety of markets.

REMEMBER: “Entrepreneur who put all her eggs in one basket end up scrambling for business!”




Hey folks, I just got word from Perrett’s Comedy Services that the one-liner I entered into Gene Perrett’s “Words to Live By” contest took SECOND PLACE! I’m so pumped. I studied with Gene at a humour-writing contest in Broken Bow, Nebraska in the late 1990s. Learned a lot from him. This is one of the coolest things ever! THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my joke!

You can read the winners here: http://comedywritersroom.com/Index_files/Page757.htm



Proof 7 15074443_coverOK folks, here it is. BY POPULAR DEMAND (namely, Adele Simmons), I am bringing out a 2nd Edition of The Writing Fairy book called The Shortest Story in the World. It is a new, improved, longer version. HOW, you might ask, can I make the shortest story in the world longer and still call it the shortest story in the world? You’ll just have to buy the book to find out. I will make it available on this website as soon as I have copies in hand. In the meantime, here is the book trailer I created for it. YES, I created a book trailer – with the help of my genius guru husband, Rich. I took his Book Trailer 101 course at Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library, and it was fantastic! For info on upcoming courses and workshops, visit http://booktrailer101.info